Smartphone News

November 10, 2017



TV Technology posted an article on November 8th, 2017 by Lynn Kenneth Packer titled " Are Smartphones the Future of TV News?"


I think this is a very fair question to ask, and yes they may be.  I personally know station groups who have looked into cell phone and tablet technology for news acquisition, and I think the dream is alive.  The big "HOWEVER" is that time and progress may still need to keep moving along a bit more in order to make this a real thing.  Those station groups discovered that it was not easy to accomplish everything they needed to do with the tool-sets currently available.  This could be something that just requires a re-wiring of how we approach NEWS.  However, there are a certain things that NEWS organizations traditionally rely on in the field like prompter, IFB, Return Video, and etc. that do not really exist in an integrated way on any smartphone platform...that i know of...yet...


I think there are some bigger trends to keep in mind that could influence this type of idea like the merging and centralizing of ownership, the trend toward OTT consumption, and the fact that the price is steadily dropping on broadcast gear in general.  These things might not really make it necessary for a station to move over to smartphones because (A), they do not have local news anymore, (B). no-one is watching local news anymore / it has been replaced with something new, or (C). there is competing technology that is affordable and purpose built.


I see a slightly bigger picture perhaps.  If we look at the idea of Broadcast moving to IP and virtualization we see a trend towards generalization where specific purposes only live in a small place within a greater "web" of technology.  Smart devices certainly can be used for NEWS with the right development.  However, i think of the accompanying changes in the industry to be as important as the cell phone if not more.  This might include things like: 5G LTE and beyond (everything connected all the time), new "standards" like NDI, The use of AI, drones, and robots, future contribution platforms that leverage unconventional news sources, and etc..  I see the smartphone as playing a role in a much larger cultural change, but by the time it is the predominant tool, the world might have already changed.


Read the article here.


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